The implications of this ruling are significant, because of the finding that the Second Amendment applies universally to all individuals and is not based on membership in a militia: an argument frequently raised against universal gun rights. It should provide substantial weight to cases against similar gun bans in other jurisdictions, especially coming on the heels of the Superior Court negation of the San Francisco gun ban last year.
The importance of this ruling for citizens was summed up by one of the six plaintiffs, Tom Palmer. He had been assaulted and wanted a gun in his house for protection, but the law kept him vulnerable and afraid. He commented, "The fact is that the criminals don't obey the law and they do have guns. It's the law-abiding citizens who are disarmed by this law." Now the court has given hope back to those citizens.
To reinforce the rights of citizens in the District, Congressmen Mike Ross (D-AR) and Mike Ross (D-IN) have introduced H.R. 1399, the "District of Columbia Personal Protection Act," which would formalize recognition of the validity of the Second Amendment rights of the residents of the District of Columbia, clarifying questions about whether the protections of the Bill of Rights apply in DC. Supporters of the gun ban had argued that residents of the District did not enjoy the full protection of the Constitution because of the District's unique status under direct federal administration. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) commented:
"The Constitution guarantees law-abiding citizens the right to bear arms and defend themselves. That is why next week I will reintroduce my legislation to repeal the existing ban. Protection of constitutional rights does not cease when you cross into the borders of the District of Columbia. Not only is Washington, D.C.’s gun ban unconstitutional, but it also has been a public policy failure as seen in the rise in crime since its enactment. The time has finally come to change course."
The legislation is expected to have strong support in the House and Senate, but it couldn't hurt to write your representatives to encourage them to support it. Previous versions have passed the House with strong bipartisan support, but the bill has never made it to the Senate floor for a vote.